I can already tell that 2019 is going to be a good year for you and blogging. Why?
Most people that want to run a blogging business aren't proactive. They aren't learning from anyone else or doing any research to see what it is they can do to take their blog to the next level. But you’re here reading this post so you’re already a step ahead.
In this post, I'm going to share the 5 things that I've seen myself and every other professional blogger do.
5 Tips to Help You Be a Professional Blogger in 2019
1. Choose a specific niche for your blog
2. Focus on helping people
3. Write a business plan
4. Be consistent
5. Get comfortable marketing your brand and yourself
Professional Blogger vs Hobby Blogger
There are a lot of people that call themselves "bloggers".
Some make money and others don't. Some post every day and others post willy nilly whenever they feel like it. This can make it a little tricky to determine what you need to do if you want to be a professional blogger.
Can you really make money from writing about whatever you feel like, whenever you feel like it? Honestly, probably not.
That's the major difference between a hobby blogger and a professional blogger. If you're just doing this blogging thing because it's fun then, by all means, do it whatever way works for you.
But, if you are looking to be a professional blogger and make money online—like "I pay my bills and more with the money I earn from my blog”—you need to think about having a strategy. The good news is there are a lot of other professional bloggers out there that you can learn from.
I started blogging three years ago and have obtained a ton of knowledge during that time. Through my own experience and watching other professional bloggers, I've noticed a few things that successful bloggers do that others don't.
So, if you're wondering how to become a professional blogger, keep reading!
1. Professional bloggers choose a specific niche
It's not 1994 and you can no longer just be "lifestyle" bloggers anymore. What does that even mean? What are you talking about on your blog? Everything?! This is not a personal attack on lifestyle bloggers but…
If you want to be successful at building a blogging business, you have to choose a very specific niche.
I know this can be really frustrating for people because you know you want to be a blogger, but you haven't really been able to narrow things down specifically.
To help, here are the Top 5 blog niches my thousands of blogging students typically choose. And here are 160+ blog niche ideas to help you narrow down your main category even further!
However, if you are frustrated because you aren't growing fast enough, or you see other bloggers that are growing faster than you, it might be your niche (or maybe your lack of a specific niche).
Take a look at your blog and see how you can narrow it down a bit. Is there one area that really stands out to you more than others? Is there one part that you seem to focus on and come up with ideas for easier than others? That might be what you need to choose.
It's no secret that I blogged about a ton of different topics back in the beginning. But, I eventually picked them off one by one until I found what really worked for me.
If you're in the beginning stages of blogging, it's okay if you don’t have things narrowed down by Day 1. But, be proactive about narrowing things down over the next 60 days after that!
I can't emphasize enough the importance of choosing a niche. When you focus on one specific thing, it's a lot easier to show that you are an expert in that area. If you blog about five different things, your readers won't know what to expect from you.
2. Professional bloggers help people solve a particular problem or learn how to do something
The internet is overloaded with fluff. There's a lot of unnecessary junk out there. People are more likely to go to your blog and support your brand in some way if you're giving them something in return.
If your blog is just providing information that doesn't benefit your reader in any way, then why would they keep coming back to your site? Professional bloggers build loyal followings by providing their readers with value.
People aren't reading your blog to do you a favor. They are reading it for what they get out of it.
I'll let you in on a little secret—you can't be afraid to give away information. There are some bloggers out there that don't want to share their knowledge unless someone is paying to get it. But, you can't think like that.
If you're willing to give away some valuable information for free, people will keep coming back to you for more. Then, who do you think they're going to come to when they're ready to purchase a product or service? You!
You need to give to the world. Teach people something or provide them with value in some way. It doesn't matter how you do it, but you just need to find that target audience that's looking for help in a certain way and they simply help them.
3. Professional bloggers have a business plan
Where is your business mindset? If you want to have a professional blog that is profitable than you need to have your business hat on.
If you're not strong in business, that's okay. There are a lot of people out there and resources that can help you.For example, my Blogging to Win course talks about the business aspect of running a blogging business.
Or, if you struggle with the financial side or the legal side, you can talk to an accountant or lawyer. Or, you can do your own research to make sure you aren't letting anything fall through the cracks.
If you want to succeed at business, you need a business plan, and that's just as true for blogs as other businesses. When I talk about business mindset I'm talking about things like:
What's your business plan?
What do you plan on creating for assets within your blogging business?
What kind of business model do you have?
If you can't answer those questions, then you're not quite at a stage where you can call yourself a professional blogger.
You've got to have your answers to those questions because it means that you're being very purposeful about every step that you're taking within your blogging business.
You aren't just throwing everything against the wall and hoping that something sticks. And you're being very strategic and thinking about all the ways you can grow your brand and blog.
There are a lot of other bloggers out there that aren't willing to think with a business mindset, so it gives you the advantage.
4. Professional bloggers post consistently
If you post in January and then not again until October, people are going to have a hard time looking at you as a professional blogger. When you look at professional blogs, you know that you can expect new content out of them on some type of a schedule.
This doesn't mean they have to post on the same day of the week each week or that they have to post a certain number of times a day, week, or month. But, what it does mean is that their readers know when they can expect new content.
Maybe you're not posting on your blog, but you're putting out content in other ways like on your YouTube channel. If you're putting out content in some way and are showing you haven't completely dropped off the face of the earth, then I'm not talking about you.
But, if you continue to disappear on your readers and they have no clue when you're coming back, people are going to have a hard time taking you seriously. So, you need to make sure that you're consistently posting helpful valuable content.
And remember, consistency doesn't mean the same thing to everyone.
For some of you, it could be that you post once a day, while others post once a month. I've even heard of people posting once a quarter although I don't recommend waiting that long between posts though.
Start working to find out what type of schedule works for you.
If you are going to be on hiatus for a while, like to go on vacation or because you are bringing home a new baby, let your readers know that you aren't going to be active for a certain amount of time if need be. Whatever you do, don't disappear on them if you want them to continue reading your blog.
5. Professional bloggers are incredibly comfortable marketing themselves and their brand
If you're interested in starting a blog for money, then you're going to need to get comfortable with marketing. Simply typing up a blog post isn't going to cut it. You need to put in the effort to get your work and your brand out there.
This is something that can be a little scary especially if it's your first time putting your work out there for the world to see. But, you need to get an audience coming to your site and you can't do that if you don't make an effort.
Advertising yourself and inviting people to your website and showing them your content is important.
More tips for becoming a professional blogger…
The tips above will help you learn how to make money with a blog for beginners. Half the battle is writing amazing content and the other is marketing ourselves.
If you want to be a professional blogger, really focus on getting comfortable with getting yourself out there so people don't just fall in love with one blog post, but your entire blog.
If you’re looking for more tips on becoming a professional blogger, check out my free blogging course below.